Maleny’s heritage open for discovery

Members of Maleny's three heritage venues:  Fairview (Pattemore House), Maleny Historical Society’s Pioneer Village and The Beersheba Living Museum (pictured) invite you to a weekend of discovery

Members of Maleny’s three heritage venues: Fairview (Pattemore House), Maleny Historical Society’s Pioneer Village and The Beersheba Living Museum (pictured) invite you to a weekend of discovery

May 6 and 7 will see Maleny’s three heritage organisations, Fairview, the Pioneer Village   and (for the first time) the Beersheba Living Museum are opening their doors to visitors – to celebrate the “Discovery Weekend” happening right across the Sunshine Coast. And what important part of early pioneer life do the three venues share – our relationship with the horse….

The bustling main street of Maleny today is full of the vehicles we so depend upon. But the first motor car only arrived in Maleny in 1913 – until then, and long afterwards, horses were an integral and vital part of daily life.

In 1880 a track linking Landsborough and Maleny was cut, with only two methods of transport; either by foot or horse. One can only imagine the challenges faced by the early pioneers, living in such a rugged bush environment with only themselves and their horses to help carve out an existence.

Settlers like the Bergann Family and their horses worked hard to make a living

Settlers like the Bergann Family and their horses worked hard to make a living

Soil had to be tilled for crops, dairymen transported their cream to the Maleny Butter Factory and children rode to school. Once trees had been felled and slabbed they had to be hauled out of the bush to a site where a home was to be built, no doubt a chore undertaken by all the family.

A visit to Pattemore House will reward you with a fascinating display about how the four Pattemore brothers built a farmhouse for their parents in 1907 called “Fairview”, from the white beech timber around them, and the tools they used. The home stands today, proud and strong as ever thanks to their skills.

In those days of settlement, children learnt about horses from a very young age and were expected to work hard for the benefit of the family.

Children learnt about horses from a very young age, this photo was entitled "Ready for school on "Old Dick"

Children learnt about horses from a very young age, this photo was entitled “Ready for school on “Old Dick”

Family and working life from these times will be on show at Maleny Historical Society’s Pioneer Village, with Priscilla Cottage, Lawley House, Pauline’s Shed and The Men’s Shed open for inspection.

Over the last two years, the Blacksmith’s Shop was also built by members of the Men’s Shed.  Come and see the Smithy at work!

The shop is well equipped and includes the original equipment from Samuel Jones’s blacksmith’s shop at Condamine, his “Bull Frog Bells”.

Samuel invented and made these particular-shaped animal bells in the late 1860s, until he retired in 1912. The Maleny Historical Society obtained them and they’ll be on display at their “Pioneer Day” (May 7 only).

Early travel through this rugged region required good horsemanship skills, and it was not unusual for teenage members of the family to undertake long trips through the bush to bring in additional horses or supplies.

Before cars were the main mode of transport, here's Phyllis, Marge and Isabella Bryce outside where the Maleny Newsagency is today

Before cars were the main mode of transport, here’s Phyllis, Marge and Isabella Bryce outside where the Maleny Newsagency is today

This ability to be self-reliant under adverse conditions, coupled with excellent bushman skills, is what forged the legend that is known today as the Australian Light Horse.

The Light Horse Brigade served in the second Boer War and World War I and were considered a hybrid between the cavalry and the infantry. Many troopers came from the hinterland.

One was Norman Alcorn, who settled in Maleny as a young single farmer around 1907. He enlisted in the 14 Reinforced 2nd LHR in October 1915 as a 23 year old, returning after his war service to his brother John’s Maleny farm, becoming the youngest director of the Maleny Co-op Butter Factory.

Brian Rickaby, a member of Friends of Pattemore House, recalls that his grandfather, Ben Rickaby, operated a saddlery shop in Maleny from 1918 to 1946, providing an essential town service.

Ben was also a frequent prizewinner with his horses at the Maleny Show in the 1920s and ‘30s.  Ben’s son Ron was involved in horse racing, held at the Show Grounds.

Horse racing was an intermittent sport in Maleny, with clubs formed in 1914, 1926 and 1931, though none were very long-lived.

Pictured in the 1920s, Ron Rickaby joined the Maleny Troop 2nd Light Horse Regiment

Pictured in the 1920s, Ron Rickaby joined the Maleny Troop 2nd Light Horse Regiment

Ron worked in his father’s shop for a while, and like many young horsemen of the time, joined the Maleny Troop 2nd Light Horse Regiment, winning the “Best Turned Out Man” award at the Troop’s first military sports event at the Maleny Show Grounds in April 1926.

Today Maleny’s popular 5th Light Horse Regiment re-enactment riders, and their new home and museum serve to commemorate the young men and their four-legged comrades who rode nearly 100 years ago.

Their Beersheba Living Museum of the 5th Light Horse Regiment Maleny Troop will be open to the public for the first time on the Discovery Weekend, where you’ll be able to see the developing displays inside the museum.

The troopers of Maleny’s 5th Light Horse Regiment and their mounts will also be demonstrating what it takes to properly kit both rider and horse.

Plan a treasure hunt with a difference for your family and unearth hidden gems right on your doorstep at the Discovery Weekend!

  • May 6 and 7 Pattemore House – 15 Porters Lane North Maleny 1 – 4pm
  • May 6 and 7 Beersheba Living Museum – Parklands Drive North Maleny (off Porters Lane) 1  – 4 pm
  • May 7  Maleny Pioneer Village – 7 Bryce Lane Maleny Open from 9.30 am

Morning and afternoon teas available at all venues.

Visit the Discovery Weekend page on the Sunshine Coast Council website to find out more about all the Sunshine Coast’s heritage places and their opening times, including Landsborough, Kenilworth and Nambour Museums, Bankfoot House and Peachester Cemetery.

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